Laundry Chandi

After our last project, I’m thinking chandeliers are synonymous with glam.  I mean, there’s pretty:
And then there’s glamorous:


Yes?  So maybe it’s not glittering with jewels or shaking its sparkle all over the place but adding a chandelier to the laundry definitely upped the aesthetics and, considering laundry rooms aren’t exactly known for the fun that’s had in them, I think we’re winning.

The chandelier was a Goodwill find ringing in at $8, modeled here in it’s original state by the boy of the fam:
Lighting is one of my favorite things to thrift and update because it’s so easy, albeit a little time-consuming but definitely something anyone can do.  All it involves is unscrewing a few nuts here and there and taking things apart piece by piece.  I always make sure to take a lot of pictures while I’m taking things apart so that I know exactly how to put them all back together.IMG_2927
In the case of most chandeliers, you start at the top and work to the bottom.  There’s usually a ring at the top that screws off followed by all of the other pieces.

I mentioned in this post that I really wanted to go gold with this light fixture in our laundry room but since our plan is to sell in the next year (and buy a fixer upper, yay!) I went silver to appeal to potential buyers since the light fixutres in the kitchen and dining nook (right next door) are also silver.  I’m all about mixing metals but in cases like this where the light fixtures are seen right in a row at most vantage points, I think consistency is key. 

But, I did do a little experimenting before I went silver.  I read somewhere that you could sand shiny brass to a prettier, more matte brass so I tried it. 
IMG_2871And, I think it worked!  However, I scratched the glass where I sanded the thin strip of brass above…oops.  I also sanded a bigger section on top of the glass cage and here’s the result:
IMG_2872You can probably tell but the left is sanded and the right is not.  Alexandra also told me via Instagram that you can use acetone to take the coating off brass and then use a brass ager (called “Japan Color” and found near the gold leaf in a craft store) to tone down the yellow.  So, have you shiny brass?  Well make it pretty with sandpaper and/or the ager!  I know I’ll be using those tricks someday!

Anyway, back to business.  If you find a chandlier with a cool glass cage like this one or you have one hanging around and you want to go a different color route with it, here’s what you’ll want to do. 

First, grab some contact paper, a pair of scissors, an x-acto knife, and some painters’ tape.  (Side note:  someone also mentioned to me that press ‘n seal would probably work too instead of contact paper!)  I gave my glass cage a quick cleaning with some glass cleaner just to make sure there wasn’t any clinging dust around (which there was because this light has been sitting in our attic for at least a year…)

With painters’ tape, tape off any holes in the chandelier (like the ones mine had on top) that open up the door to paint getting where you don’t want it and also tape along the bottom inside of the cage to keep any overspray at bay (the best way to paint this is with the open end sitting on the ground though so overspray shouldn’t be a problem).IMG_2870
Then, instead of taking on the super-tedious task of taping off all the glass, grab a piece of contact paper and cut pieces that are slightly larger than the pieces of glass…
peel off the backing, stick it onto the glass…
and then use your x-acto knife to slice off any extra contact paper…
for a perfect fit and easy cover.
Cut, peel, stick, trim, and repeat several times and thank the good Lord above that you didn’t test your sanity with tape.

Outside I went with this thing where I set it on a piece of cardboard with the open side down to spray paint it.  IMG_2878 

First, I went over the entire thing with some gray spray primer.
After that dried, I used Rust Oleum’s metallic silver for the final coat.   (Note:  Setting it open-side down is the best way to paint it so that you don’t get any paint inside the fixture.  But, the bottom of it, the part sitting on the ground, won’t get painted which is a problem.  So, I simply sprayed some paint onto the cardboard after the fixture was dry and, quickly while the paint was still wet, I brushed it onto the bottom using a q-tip (a q-tip because I could just toss it after since spray paint is oil-based and we don’t have any mineral spirits for that kind of clean-up). 

That’s how I painted the glass cage part of our chandelier.  As far as the inside, actual light part, I hung it from the kids’ swing set with the sockets and top wire covered, and did the whole primer then paint thing.
The silver spray paint I used is a little brighter than the silver you see on nickel light fixtures.  You can tell in this picture how it’s more of a cool silver vs. the warm silver of our dining nook chandelier:
IMG_2911I’m not too concerned since I have other plans for our dining chandelier but if I were, I might try rubbing a super thin coat of a warm gray stain over the silver spray paint to see if that would take it from the cool to warm. 

Once everything was dry, I put the chandelier back together using the pictures that I took as a guide and handed it off to my handy hubby to install.

It hangs a little longer than I had hoped (by like two inches so it’s not that big of a deal) but sure does make a pretty design on the ceiling when it’s all lit up.
IMG_2924You probably didn’t notice but I also replaced part of the decorative brass of the original fixture, the part that sat directly on top of the cage, with a tube instead.  I felt like that would modernize and simplify the fixture a little more but it was totally a personal choice and not necessary at all.  The tube I used was one I pulled from a lamp I redid a couple of years back that I cut down to size with a hand saw and painted to match.  Also, you can’t tell from the pictures but the inside of the glass part of this chandelier is still brass but with some sort of silver metal that was sautered to hold all of the pieces together.  Painting the inside seemed to daunting so I skipped it and the brass and silver don’t really bother me, especially since you don’t notice it when the light is on and it doesn’t look awful when it’s not. 

All said and done, I like the silver but my heart still says “You should’ve went gold!!” so I’m going to remedy that by adding in some gold decor in here pronto.  I saw a brass vase thrifting last week that I’m kicking myself for not grabbing to pot a plant in but that’s the idea.  I still really want to add some sort of backsplash in here too so stay tuned for that.

Last, you might’ve also noticed that big silver tube-like thingy sitting on top of the dryer.

IMG_8603That, my friends, is our Berkey water filter.  We had someone come out to talk to us about the quality of our water before Christmas and the truth is that our water is b-a-d.  I know that there probably isn’t any public water that can boast full purity but ours ranks pretty high in being some of the worst.  We were especially concerned about it because we drink out of our tap.  Our refrigerator has a filter but the water line is frozen in the fridge and has been for the last few years so we haven’t drank from it and bottled water just gets so expensive not to mention the plastic issue.  My sister has had a Berkey for years now and loves hers so we bit the bullet and took the plunge around Christmas with a Big Berkey.  It’s a big initial investment (we got ours for $260 – it was a scratch and dent plus we grabbed a sight glass spigot) but, and that’s really a big BUT, in the long run, we will only pay 2 cents per GALLON of water.  And the Berkey filters out all the bad stuff plus pharmaceuticals, a must-have in our book.  So, my intention is not to skip from chandelier to water filter but I just wanted to mention it since it’s in the picture and in case you’ve been in the market for a water filter.  This one gets twelve thumbs up from us.  :) 

Anyway, we are leaving on a mini-vacation to go stay with my sister and fam in t-minus four hours and I have yet to pack a single thing so I better skidaddle lest I miss the minivan so I bid you adieu y’all and a happy weekend…and Mardi Gras if you’re down here in the south! 

Laissez les bon temps roulez!

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